Guest Post: Five Career Skills You Won’t Learn in College

By Katrina Manning

You’ve completed the coursework, aced the exams, and now you’re fully prepared to enter the world of employment…..or are you? The real world is full of surprises which unfortunately aren’t taught in the average college course and you’ll need to be prepared for these challenges if you want to progress in your chosen career. Here are five much needed career skills that you won’t learn in college, but many employers will expect you to have:

Embed from Getty Images

1. Persistence.  Pulling an all-nighter to finish a paper the day before it’s due or cramming in all your study just before an exam is nothing compared to the persistence required in the professional world. Having the ability to pick yourself up after the fifteenth rejection letter is difficult, but you need to power through to the sixteenth interview which could be the key to landing the dream career. Having a strong support structure, intelligently networking, and monitoring your industry can all help you survive during the job search stage. If you decide to work in the insurance industry, persistence will certainly serve you well!
2. Networking Skills. Many people find it easy to make lots of new friends in college and develop a strong social network, however, did you learn how to use this network for career success or did you just concentrate on becoming as popular as possible? Maintaining contact with people who can provide you with information about potential opportunities in your career field can lead to referrals, positions which aren’t advertised, and invaluable assistance in career progression. People will want to help you, but not if you are constantly pestering them, so be sure to maintain the relationship for its own merit.
3. Responsibility. Remember that wild party you went to and decided that a lecture the next morning didn’t sound as appealing as a day in front of the television? Unfortunately, in the real world you can’t pick and choose your work schedule and will have to turn up on time every day. Your responsibilities extend beyond being punctual too, with accountability for your work, meeting deadlines, and emails all part of the job. In a working environment, your work affects others and vice-versa. One of these jobs will certainly give you some of the skills you need.
4. Humble Interactions. In college, if you don’t like someone you are able to avoid them and won’t have to worry about awkward interactions. However, in the real world you have no choice about who your colleagues are, where they come from, or what makes them tick. You will need to understand and interact with a multitude of personalities. Having the ability to express appreciation or ask for forgiveness can help you avoid being caught up in a conflict and help your career flourish.
5. Dealing with Feedback. So you got a B in a tough exam and you were over the moon, however, in the real world this simply means you should have got an A. Actually, in the professional world you don’t receive grades but are simply told to listen to the feedback you are given by your superiors. There’s no such thing as a straight C employee, and consistently displaying an effort to perform to your peak abilities is essential.

College offers you great experience and knowledge, but skills like those above are ones you won’t pick up during ‘the best years of your life’. Want a great job? You’ll need to sign up for a new class at the University of Life.

Guest Contributor:
Katrina Manning is part of the content Marketing team at Her writing and editing services have been in demand for the last six years, and she has contributed to a variety of websites and publications. She enjoys covering SEO strategies, tech, business and lifestyle.

1 thought on “Guest Post: Five Career Skills You Won’t Learn in College

  1. Hi Katrina nice article. I agree with you that in college candidates don’t learn about career skills. They need to build their career skills through interacting with networking sites or being in contact with the professionals if they have their contacts. They should not use networking sites just for making friends they should use it for job search.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: